It feels like barely a minute has passed since Levi Colwill put the ball into his own net to seal defeat for Huddersfield and send Nottingham Forest into the Premier League. This season’s English Football League season starts earlier than previous ones - with the World Cup in Qatar disrupting football schedules around the world. After some mixed results in last season’s EFL Championship betting preview, we take a look at what looks to be another wild and unpredictable EFL Championship campaign this year.
EFL Championship 2023/23 Winner
Last year we tipped Fulham to take home the Championship title, and Marco Silva’s men didn’t disappoint. At this stage, the yo-yoing of Fulham and Norwich has become a bit of a meme in the football world, and while we hate to be predictable, Norwich makes the most sense as winners again this year. The bookies have them as favorites, with odds of 6.00 available at William Hill and other sites.
The team has retained the services of Dean Smith as well as most of its key players, meaning it’s hard to see past them making yet another immediate return to the top flight. The other two relegated sides - Watford and Burnley, have both taken risks with their managerial appointments and we can’t see them challenging for the top spot. Middlesbrough and West Brom can be found at 10.00 with Paddy Power. Both teams have experienced managers at the helm in Chris Wilder and Steve Bruce respectively and will both be competing at the top end of the English Football League Championship table. They could both be worth a small bet each.
Our Top Picks:
- Norwich City (6.00)
- Middlesbrough (10.00)
Promotion From the EFL Championship and the Play-Offs
Of course, all of the teams mentioned in the title race section are also considered favorites for promotion. Middlesbrough is one of the best value picks here with odds of 4.00 with William Hill. Burnley can be found as far out as 5.0 with some bookmakers, but with Vincent Kompany as manager and a whole new squad, it is really difficult to predict how the team is going to perform. Many of its signings have been players inexperienced at this level, so things could really go any number of ways.
Sheffield United is another team who will be looking to build on a strong campaign from last year and that is fancied in a lot of EFL Championship betting odds. The Blades finished the season strong and were denied promotion thanks to an impressive display by Forest’s Brice Samba in the play-off semi-finals. The club has lost Morgan Gibbs-White, with the loanee being an essential part of the squad, but it will hope that it can at least achieve a spot in the play-offs this season. It can be found as far out as 5.00 for promotion with BoyleSports, and 3.00 to make the top 6.
Our Top Picks
- Middlesbrough (4.00)
- Sheffield United (5.00)
- Burnley (5.00)
EFL Championship Betting on Top Goalscorer
Last season’s top scorer battle was the least competitive in recent memory if not, all time. Mitrovic stormed to the golden boot, smashing all sorts of records along the way. While we did back him as a potential candidate, no one could have predicted the way he tore the division apart.
Once again, we can’t help but look at Norwich and its yo-yo reputation here. Teemu Pukki has become the very embodiment of Norwich’s form in recent seasons. The Finnish striker has proven to be too good for the Championship and fairly average in the Premiership. Now he is back in a league where he excels, he can be found at 8.00 with Unibet, which is a great value.
Elsewhere, Ben Brereton Diaz will want to build on his form from last season. He smashed in 22 goals and will hope that he can continue that under Blackburn’s new manager. He can be found at 11.00 with William Hill. Another striker hoping to build on a 22-goal campaign is Joel Piroe. Swansea was one of the league’s most entertaining sides last season, even if that wasn’t reflected in the English Football League Championship standings, and at 13.00 with Betway, he could definitely be worth a punt.
Our Top Picks:
Teemu Pukki - Norwich City (8.00)
Ben Brereton Diaz - Blackburn Rovers (11.00)
Joel Piroe - Swansea City (13.00)
EFL Championship Betting Odds for Relegation
The relegation battle in the Championship looks to be one of the most exciting in recent years, with at least two of the teams coming up from League One likely to be competitive. The other, of course, is Rotherham, who has become the Norwich of League One and the Championship. They are sitting at around 2.5/3.00 with almost all bookmakers and if you are looking at piling together an accumulator bet over the top four divisions, this is a selection well worth adding. They are joined at the wrong end of the odds table by Reading and Birmingham at similar odds. The former could face a points deduction and has assembled a squad that feels very dated, while the latter is a perennial struggler at this level, and falling through the trap door feels like a matter of when and not if.
Elsewhere, things look more interesting. Last season we tipped Barnsley as dark horses to go down, and they delivered at odds of 10.00, finishing rock-bottom of the English Football Championship League. The squad had over-performed the year before, lost some key players in the window, and lost a manager who had redefined the club’s ethos. Sound familiar, Huddersfield fans? The Terriers can be found at odds of 7.5 with Betfred and we can see them ending up in a relegation battle similar, especially with the departure of Carlos Corberán. We tipped them for relegation last year and they defied our (and everyone else’s) expectations. We can’t see them doing that again this season. We expect to find them down the other end of the English Football League Championship standings.
Another club that defied expectations last season and lost their manager since is Blackpool. The departure of Neil Critchley, in combination with one of the tightest budgets in the league, makes them prime contenders for the drop. Their odds are short with most bookmakers, with William Hill offering some of the longest at 4.5.
Our Top Picks:
- Blackpool (4.5)
- Huddersfield Town (7.5)
- Reading & Birmingham City (3.5 Each)
- Rotherham United (3.00)
English Football League betting odds: Dark Horses
Now time for the fun part. Last year we were impressed with Birmingham’s pre-season recruitment and called for an outlandish bet of them finishing in the top half, and Barnsley going down. As we’ve seen elsewhere in this EFL Championship betting preview, we were correct about at least one of these things. This year, we are going to suggest Cardiff could find themselves at the wrong end of the English Football League Championship table, with BetVictor offering relegation odds of 9.00. Steve Morrison is extremely inexperienced in the dugout, and he has assembled an entirely new squad that could struggle to gel. Also in this market, Luton Town can be found at 11.00. This is a real dark-horse shout, but it is worth remembering that they are still one of the smallest clubs in the division. For an outrageous promotion shout, look no further than Sunderland at 11.00. The club will come into the season with a point to prove after being exiled for four years and let’s be honest, it would make for fantastic viewing when Sunderland Till I Die finally returns to our screens.
Our Top Picks:
- Cardiff City, Relegation (9.00)
- Luton Town, Relegation (11.00)
- Sunderland, Promotion (11.00)
GoodLuckMate EFL Championship Predictions
So, let’s nail our flags to the mast and make our predictions for the coming campaigns. This is how we think the English Football League Championship table is likely to end up looking. Of course, we think there are plenty of other options, as we have detailed throughout this EFL Championship betting preview.
- Champions: Norwich City
- Promoted: Middlesbrough
- Play-offs: Sheffield United, West Brom, Watford, Burnley
- Relegated: Blackpool, Rotherham, Reading
- Top Scorer: Teemu Pukki
All EFL Championship betting odds were correct at the time of writing - July 25th, 2022.